A BRAVE Greenock woman who has overcome her battle with drugs says she has shaved off all her hair for charity as 'payback'.

Gran Carol Watson spent 15 years hooked on heroin and was only saved when she was forced on to a drugs treatment and testing order by the courts.

She took to the street in Broomhill for a public 'Brave the Shave' to raise money for people suffering from cancer.

Carol had all her hair shaved off in the middle of the street - and told the Tele she hopes she can inspire other people never to give up.

She said: "I wanted to give something back.

"I have made so many mistakes in my life but I am on the right road now.

"It was the courts that saved me.

"I was put on a drug treatment and testing order and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

"It saved my life.

"It made me want to stop and gave me a reason to do it.

"I never looked back after that.

"It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.

"I was so determined never to touch heroin again.

"I reduced all my medication until I didn't need methadone either."

Mum-of-three Carol, 59, of Prospecthill Court, now devotes all her time to her seven grandchildren.

But she recalls the bad days when heroin took over her life.

She said: "I started smoking heroin later, in my 30s.

"It must have been an escape.

"You don't think you have a problem, you are not like everyone else, you can handle it.

"Then one day you wake up and you realise it has got you.

"You have the sweats, the shakes, you feel sick and you need it.

"It happens as quickly as that."

Carol soon found herself in court for committing offences and had warrants issued for her arrest.

She said: "I was given a chance when they put me on a DTTO.

"It worked for me and I have helped other people try to stop taking heroin as well.

"But you have to want to do it."

Carol found support from her partner Freddy Nicholas and her family and says they have been a tower of strength.

She said: "Now we are busy with all our grandchildren"

Carol decided to join the Macmillan Cancer 'Brave the Shave' campaign with help from her friend Morag Kincaid, who lives in the same block of flats.

They were surrounded by family and friends cheering Carol on.

She said: "We all know people who have had cancer and I wanted to do something to help.

"I decided to do it outside and in public so I would go through with it.

"I have never had short hair in my life, now I just look like my mum!

"I was sick with nerves at the thought of it all.

"But I really wanted to do this."

Carol hopes she has made her children Stacey, 29, Laura, 28, and Ross, 23, proud as well as her grandchildren.

She tragically lost her dad Ross when she was only seven-years-old, after he was killed in a road accident and her mum passed away 12 years ago from emphysema.

Carol added: "I wish my mum was here to see it.

"She would be so proud of me."